I’m an occasional reader of poetry. I’m starting to know what I like and what I think makes for a poet worth reading. My current favorite is Ian McMillan, who comes from Barnsley in Yorkshire.
It was one of those splendid coincidences that meant I caught him on the TV the other Saturday morning (I never watch TV at that time but we were in a hotel and my wife was as ever in search of the latest weather news) having just read one of his collections that week.
Ian was doing a round up of items that had caught his attention in the day’s newspapers. One item that got him worked up was the impact of cuts in arts funding. He thought it was wrong because we need arts in order for us to process and understand what is happening. This is even more important in tough times. Cutting arts funding cuts how we can get to understand the times.
Going on to explain the the point of poetry he talked about seeing through a prism. Poetry is a different way of looking at things.
For me this made great sense because if we continue to look at things in the same way were going to be none the wiser, understand no more and be able to respond only in the same old way which doesn’t help us to change, move on or deal with events.
We all need to develop a poetic vision, to look at the world through different prisms or lenses. Doing this requires careful and detailed observations, reminding our selves of eternal truths, meditating on difficult events, questioning the things we hold dearest, baring our souls and celebrating all that is finest.
We can do this through writing poetry or engaging in other artistic pursuits such as painting, writing, acting. The important thing is to engage and not just be a consumer of the usual TV pap. Get out there and see the world differently!
How are you developing your poetic vision?
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